SAINTS' Jon Wilkin is backing Government plans to make free healthy school meals available to all infant school pupils.

The Universal Free School Meals scheme means that from September meals will be available to all pupils in reception, year one and two.

Universal Free School Meals can save parents up to £400 a year as well as ensuring that every child will enjoy a nutritious lunch.

The changes are designed to make it easier for school cooks to create imaginative, flexible and healthy menus. Children will also get the nutrition they need at lunchtimes. Items such as low fat milk will be available every day, along with fresh fruit and veg for healthy snacking.

Evidence from areas already providing universal free school meals has shown that children eating more healthily actually perform better in the classroom.

Welcoming the move, the Saints forward said: "As an athlete I take nutrition very seriously. It forms part of my daily routine and plays a vital role in ensuring I am ready and focussed for the physical and mental rigours or not only rugby league but day to day life.

"I know how important it is to have a balanced diet and for children in particular to eat well and healthily. Good balanced nutrition early on is vital and provides the firm foundations for the future."